Air dry clay is an amazing crafts material for kids and adults alike. It is easy to use, you don´t need to fire it, and it is quite cheap. But even though air dry clay is awesome and even though it can do a lot of things it can´t do everything. One question that I am getting a lot recently is if air dry clay can be used for mugs. So I decided to write this dedicated article to answer this question as well and comprehensively as I possibly can.
Air dry clay can´t be used for mugs. Air dry clay can´t be fired and it won´t be able to hold any liquid for long. So if you want to make mugs out of air dry clay then they will be purely decorative and unfortunately, never be able to hold any liquid permanently.
You can still use the mugs as pencil holders or something similar but air dry clay right out of the box is not able to hold liquid.
There are ways to make air dry clay hold liquid but they come with lot´s of disadvantages or it will be quite difficult to do so it is up to you if you really want to make your air dry clay be able to hold water or not.
Most of the time it is just easier if you take a ceramics course and learn how to make and fire a mug out of regular clay. Regular clay will be able to hold water without any problems and with the right treatment, it will also be food safe.
How Can I Make My Air Dry Clay Hold Water
As I mentioned above, there are methods that you can use to make your air dry clay hold water but they are mostly either expensive or quite complicated to do.
The best way to make air dry clay hold water is by using food-safe liquid epoxy to coat your air dry clay project. Epoxy is a two-compound liquid resin that will permanently seal your air dry clay and make it so that it can hold water. But Epoxy is quite expensive and it´s not easy to use.
So if you really want to use your mug, that you made with air dry clay, then pretty much the best way to make it waterproof is using epoxy resin.
I wrote an in-depth guide on properly sealing air dry clay that you can check out if you want to know more and I also wrote a detailed guide on how to make air-dry clay waterproof where I explain how to properly waterproof your air-dry clay sculpture.
But you need to use food-safe epoxy for that not just any regular old epoxy.
I will not link any product here because, as it turns out, it´s actually quite hard to find food safe epoxy and, as long as I haven´t tried any food-safe epoxy myself I don´t feel confident recommending it to you.
So before you go out buying just any regular epoxy please make sure that it is food-safe.
Also, epoxy will release slightly poisonous fumes when it is curing so make sure that you only use it in well-ventilated areas and with necessary protection such as a breathing mask and gloves.
Once the epoxy is dry the surface will be very hard and waterproof.
A Little Trick To Make A Working Mug With Air Dry Clay
In the end, I want to share a little trick one of my friends told me about, that you can use to make a working mug with air dry clay. It is a little bit cheaty, however.
He does a lot of crafting with kids and whenever the kids want to make a mug out of air dry clay he would give them a regular glass.
The kids would then create sort of an ornament around the glass (almost like a clay sleeve) but in a way that the glas could be taken out of the clay sleeve.
Then you can let the clay dry and once it is dry you can simply take the glass out of the clay sleeve at any time to clean it and if you want to drink something out of your self made “mug” then simply put the liquid in the glass and then put the glass inside the clay sleeve.
And voila, a working mug that was created using air-dry clay only!
This is probably the best way to make a working mug out of air dry clay with kids. Because you don´t need any epoxy and the kids can do it by themselves without any help or further work by yourself.